VST Connect Session fail. Ugh

I’ve been using VST Connect with artists on PC’s and Mac’s and it’s been great. I’ve recorded amazing tracks and the setup has been easy. Until today. I have a client back in Sacramento, and I’m in Nashville. She’s on Windows. We got her user name and account setup, I found her and connected to her. All good. I set her Focusrite Scarlett inputs correctly in the Performer section. I could see the mic inputs on the meter. All good. She could hear herself in her headphones hooked up to the Focusrite headphone jack. But I could not hear her mic even though I could see the meter registering, And she never could hear the music track. It was extra frustrating because this is the first time I could not get VST Connect working. Not hearing what I was seeing on the meters was extra frustrating. The only way we were communicating was via FaceTime video. I even used that to check all the sound settings on her end. All the Focusrite device settings were correct, 48k etc. I’m not a Windows fan, but I’ve used VST Connect with Windows users and Mac users, I know how to set up an audio device. My main confusion is why I could see the mic audio input but not hear it. And why she couldn’t hear any of the music I played. We checked all the input monitoring settings but nothing helped. We even disconnected the Focusrite and put it back in, Restarted VST Connect multiple times. Changed her mic input to channel 2 instead of 1. Checked all inputs. Headphones. etc. Argghhh. I have no more ideas. Anybody here have a suggestion?

Thanks. I feel better just typing this.

Regards,

Ted Perlman

First off: “even though I could see the meter registering” - “Not hearing what I was seeing on the meters was extra frustrating.” - the meters you see are her meters, that is, what her monitoring shows. Neither the faders nor the meters of the “MONITORING” section are related to signals on your end. What you record is controled by the “RECORD” section.
Secondly: “But I could not hear her mic” - you hear the Performer at any (!) time thru the VST Connect Monitor plugin placed in the Control Room after the Main output (all of this is set up automatically when you use the “Create VST Connect” function; also try “Check and repair” to see if that helps). If you use the Control Room Headphones output, make sure to have that plugin placed after the Headphone output. Open Studio/Control Room (CR) and select the “Inserts” tab at the bottom to see these. Also make sure the “MONITOR” (PERF) dial in the VST Connect plugin is cranked up to some amount, this controls the level of the Performer signal you hear.
Third, “And she never could hear the music track” - I assume this implies that she could hear your talkback? Then you have to make sure that the cue sends of the tracks you want her to hear are active and leveled. Or, you could activate the “Mix” button in the VST Connect Cue section in the Control Room (select “Main” at the bottom of the CR panel) but then you cannot provide a dedicated cue mix to her.
As always, when troubleshooting, try to create an empty project and apply “Create VST Connect” from the VST Cloud/VST Connect menu.
All of this, and more is decribed in more detail here:
https://helpcenter.steinberg.de/hc/en-us/articles/360012899079

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Thank you for your patient and detailed response. What’s the most frustrating about what happened yesterday is that I’ve had multiple successful VST Connect recording sessions already. I was feeling very confident in my skills because I had done it. But yesterday using the same exact settings suddenly nothing worked. My settings were all, like you suggested, set up exactly as I’ve done it before. But this time I could only see the meters but not hear the singer. And she couldn’t hear the music I was playing or my mic, only herself thru her Scarlett interface. We adjusted the Direct monitoring settings, changed the mic channel, reset the interface, checked the audio settings on her PC using FaceTime so I could see for myself. The only way we could communicate was thru FaceTime. I suspected her computer or interface but then why did I see the meters working. On her end and on my end in the control room. I saw my mic meters but she couldn’t hear anything. I have thought abut this all night, going through every possible variable I might have missed. The only thing I could come up with is that she uses ProTools and maybe Avid holds the audio driver somehow? That doesn’t make sense but nothing about this instance is making sense to me. VST Connect is usually so easy. There may be a few fine tuning adjustments to make in regard to each artist computer’s ability and settings but it always connects with no issues. I’m, to use an old word, “flummoxed”.

Performer interface is just fine, as her meters indicate. Could you pls. check the exact suggestions “Repair”, check VST Monitor plugin after main and/or headphone output in Control Room, and Cue send path and meters as suggested? It doesn’t help to know it once worked, the flow diagram and explanations here denote the pathes to check and you haven’t yet responded to that, so we can’t help unless we can analyse those routing pathes.

Hello:

Yes, the VST Connect plugin is there. Repair VST Connection yields no errors. My confusion is that I don’t know how to fix my client’s end. At my end everything is the same way I’ve successfully used VST Connect previously. As recently as last week, where I recorded 30 tracks of vocal with not a single hitch or problem. I’m out of ideas to tell her. I told her to uninstall ProTools in case Avid is holding on to the audio driver. I also told her to hook up to the Internet via a wired ethernet connection, After that I’m out of ideas. I’ve changed all the settings on her Focusrite 2x2 but she can’t hear the music or me and I can’t hear her mic. I don’t understand why the meters show my talkback and music but she can’t hear anything. And the meters show her mic level but I can’t hear her. As if the Scarlett is not sending the audio through her computer.

It worked!!! Success! I don’t know why, but she uninstalled ProTools and hooked up via a LAN line. She was ecstatic and smiled so much when she recorded her vocal and I played it back to her. She’s got a great mic and the Focusrite preamp sounds great. On my end I turned VST Connect off and then on, checked the repair option, etc. All the things I had always done but it works for her now so I am grateful. Perhaps Avid did hog the audio driver? Might be something for the FAQ?

Whew!! Thanks so much for your very patient help. I appreciate all my brilliant friends at Steinberg,

Blessings,

Ted “Theo” Perlman

Presumably re-installing also applied an output port to the Master channel in the Performer app. There is a warning when no such port is assigned, possibly you either ignored it or have an older version (prior to 5.x). Anyway, good to hear that it works again.

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Also watch out for clients using wifi and running 16 billion internet related apps in the background without realising. I had fun a few months back with a VO project where the client, a pro, so I probs assumed to much, was on their laptop running background internet apps and connected to the internet via a tethered iPhone with a relatively weak signal. A reboot to sort the apps and a hardwire hook up to her router sorted it out and we were away.

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